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Widening the reach of regional films


As part of the IFFI events, apart from the films being screened.  One such event titled ‘In conversation with’ gives delegates a chance partake in discussions and interactions with filmmakers and other people associated with the film business. The fist of this season saw a conversation amongst directors Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Raam Reddy, moderated by Sudhir Mishra.

Raam Reddy opened the conversation saying he feels fortunate for starting his career in the film making in the digital era. “Personally, I feel I am very lucky to get into film making at a time where technology is no longer a barrier. I started my career with a digital camera which helped me to move beyond the perfect lighting factor and other technical aspects.”

Raam mentioned that his recent movie, ‘Thithi’ would have not been what it is if he had not used digital camera. He added that internet provided a great access to content while he grew up. “I grew up at the time with easy access to content and movies through internet. Now with DVD’s, CD’s, internet and other streaming, one can easily gain accessibility and watch world films from home. That’s how I learnt cinema. In that sense I feel really lucky to get into film making now,” he said.

Bengali Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (also known as Tony) whose movie Pink made a mark in the Indian cinema spoke about himself as a regional film director. “My friends call me Tony, but I am still Aniruddha. I am Bengali and I love everything about the place I have been brought up in. I dream and think in Bengali.” Unlike Raam, Aniruddha began his career in films in 1986 as a production boy under director Anjan Dutt’s company. “Although money was less in films then, but I had decided to make films. So, the journey was difficult because I am from a pre-computer era. I still miss the smell of films, the sound of camera, that flicker of projector.”

“A film has its own language,” said Aniruddha as he expressed his belief of films are beyond the barrier of language. “If the movie is subtitled properly, why can’t people understand? It hurts when people tell us that you have come from regional background. But all regional films are Indian films. I wanted to make film ‘Pink’ in Bengali because I wrote the idea of that film in Bangla. But it was such a subject that it had reached larger section of society and it thus happened in Hindi.”

Raam further stressed that subtitles are one way to connect regional films to the mass audience. “I am a great proponent of subtitle culture because that’s one way that regional films will reach to mass audience. Unlike France that shows films all over the world, the regional films are catered only to the locals of that region or we have dubbed films. But we are not used to reading; reading is a different medium. If even one Hindi film is run with subtitles, it can help to create the culture of subtitled films soon,” said Raam.

Sudhir Mishra added that if there is availability of theatrical space for all sorts of films then there are all sorts of audiences who will watch the movies. “This space is a kind of opportunity to all sorts of films including regional films as well as to different kinds of audience.” Further Mishra questioned Raam whether the easy digital life can invite dangers. Raam said: “Uplifting of digital can be misused like the misuse of internet. So, one has to study the craft of using it as a tool and not merely for the comfort it offers.”

According to Aniruddha, people have to watch good cinema and not just popular cinema. “Everything which is popular cannot be good and everything that is good cannot be popular. There has to be some system designed by government where there should be one or two screens for good regional films in every state.”

Conclusively, Raam said that the types of films are changing and audience is definitely ready for good narratives. He believes that everyone needs to get together to create a movement and create an overall change in the Indian cinema. While, Aniruddha said that people are changing and they want a good movie. “A lot of producers are coming to me and asking me to make a real film. But this has to be supported by government and distributors.”


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